On 15th May 2019 this charter was officially launched as a part of the ‘Love our colleges’ mental health awareness week. These signatures form part of a college wide commitment to the mental health agenda. This includes providing support for both staff and students who need it.
At 10am, there was a signing ceremony in the reception of our Dartford campus where we joined 142 other colleges to form part of a nation wide initiative. The charter was signed by vice principal, Lindsay O’Malley, along with support from Sue Barry, who is the teaching and learning coordinator at the college. There were also students present from acting & theatre, public services and Miskin Media.
A cheque for £100.00 – which was raised by Sue during an open water swim which she completed at Heaver Castle in Kent – was also presented and donated to the mental health charity ‘Mind.’
During the signing, we interviewed a range of students and members of staff on the topic of mental health and the effects of this charter on the college.
We asked them to outline the initiatives of the charter and what the impact would be on the students and staff. One student from public services added,
‘Personally, I think social media is the cause of most mental health issues and suicides amongst adolescents. Initiatives like these go to show how our educators are taking genuine measures to help tackle the problems that we face. ‘
A lot of the students that we spoke to had similar viewpoints and opinions on mental health, and on the help that people need in order to get through what they are going through.
In light of the current levels of help people in the country are receiving for their mental health, the climate was described by one student as ‘All over the place’.
This charter will hopefully help us as a college and a community to become healthier, happier and more united in tackling what was described as ‘the real pandemic amongst us.’